We are starting to hit the trails, beach and parks more often. I mean when realistically possible. I did share my fair share of frustration re: doing what I vs. what my kids want to do. So, whenever we make somewhere in one piece we like to hit local cafes and restaurants for a meal/snack. And every time I see trays of baked muffins, cookies and bars wrapped in plastic on the counters. They are usually ginormous and loaded with sugar.
I have to admit all those baked goodies look pretty darn good. I have to explain myself – whenever I see desserts I get a crazy itch to run home and recreate. And that is absolutely weird considering I do not eat or make a lot of desserts. iFOODreal is clearly mostly savoury recipes blog. But desserts look so luscious, gorgeous and inviting, I can’t stop thinking about them. I stare at counters while Alex is getting coffee at Starbucks and at food magazines in grocery store’s line. I have 100s of ideas on my phone and in my head but they just stay there.
Until these sugar free oatmeal cookies…
When I say sugar free I mean no sugar – no maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar. No low glycemic healthier sugars. Just naturally occurring sugars in bananas and dried fruits. I really wanted to make a giant cookie full of good for us goodies that I could pack for an active day and really feel like I did good for my body – exercised and nourished my temple right afterwards.
So, I decided to keep these trail mix oatmeal cookies vegan. Flax “eggs” add extra healthy fats and make us eat less animal products, eggs, which just can’t be a bad thing ever.
And what cookies are without lots of some sort of butter?! I used buttery flavour coconut oil which I just got from Nutiva. I was curious. Itself the oil tastes buttery but I couldn’t taste it in the cookies. So, regular coconut oil would work just fine. Or vegan butter like Earth Balance.
The dough comes out pretty thick. A spatula should stand in it. For flours all I used was rolled oats and oat flour which is just ground oats. So, no traditional whole wheat or white flour. And now for the trail mix itself – use what you love. I used peanuts, cashews, raisins and dates. Dried fruit makes cookies sweeter without added sugar. Just make sure you are not using sweetened dried fruit. I always try to buy organic, unsulphured and unsweetened dried fruit. You get what you hear – dried fruit only. No sugar, preservatives and colours. My mom recently sent us a bag of conventional dried mango…yeah, that didn’t go well. A bite out of curiosity…that was so sweet. So, buy real stuff. I am not sure why my mom still buys that…
I was thinking sunflower seeds, Brazilian nuts (my favourite – the store was out), hazelnuts, dried cranberries – all would go so well in these sugar free oatmeal cookies. And I foresee comments and questions about chewiness. No, these cookies are not chewy but rather soft. What makes cookies chewy is melting sugar during baking. No sugar cookies can’t be chewy, period. But they are super naturally sweetened and delicious! An oatmeal cookie you can have for breakfast.
Or with a view. A few weeks ago we hiked about 1.6 km to the top for this view of gorgeous Pacific ocean in Larrabee Park, WA. At the top I wish I had my sugar free oatmeal cookies while staring at the water and dreaming of boating on it and exploring all small and big islands around. A few more years and we will be on the water, working less and enjoying life more.
- 3 tbsp flaxseed, ground
- 9 tbsp water, room temperature
- 2 large over ripen bananas
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
- 1 3/4 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten free if necessary)
- 1/2 cup oat flour* (use certified gluten free if necessary)
- 1 cup mixed nuts & seeds, chopped if too large**
- 10 Medjool pitted chopped dates or 1 cup raisins***
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
- In a small bowl, whisk flaxseed and water. Let sit for about 10 minutes while you are getting other ingredients ready.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add flaxseed mixture and whisk really well. Add oats and oat flour; stir to combine. Add nuts and dried fruit; mix well.
- Using large ice cream scoop, place batter on previously prepared sheet and flatten with the back of a scoop into large size cookies. Cookies do not spread. I had about 6 cookies per sheet. Bake in batches for 20 minutes or until nuts start to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool for a minute, then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool off completely.
*Make oat flour by grinding oats in a food processor or high speed blender. **I used peanuts and cashews. Sunflower seeds, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts would be great. *Use a mix or any combo of dried cranberries, raisins and dates.
Servings Per Recipe: 13
Amount Per Serving = 1 large cookie:
Total Fat: 14.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 46.6 mg
Total Carbs: 32.6 g
Sugars: 14.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 4.8 g
WW Points+: 7